UKGC tightens pandemic gambling restrictions
The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) is, once again, throwing down a new set of rules and regulations designed to help problem gamblers from getting in over their heads during the country’s months-old COVID-19 lockdown. The new rules include some pretty onerous requirements surrounding reverse withdrawals, bonus offers, and player monitoring.
These new guidelines were introduced in a missive titled, Gambling Commission instructs tighter measures to protect consumers during lockdown that was released earlier this week.
From a logistics standpoint, the most onerous of the new restrictions revolve around player monitoring. For example, under the new rules, operators must “interact” with any player who has a session of more than an hour. They must also cease bonus offers to any player who exhibits red flags regarding problem gambling. It also appears that operators are now responsible for establishing individual thresholds for each new player.
Commissioners are also ceasing the practice of “reverse withdrawals”. This is when a player has a change of heart while pulling their money out and is believed to be a sign a problem gambler.
While the UKGC is keen on protecting locked down players, they also admit that there appears to be no evidence that problem gambling is on the rise in the UK. Regardles, Gambling Commission chief executive Neil McArthur is moving forward with the new rules saying, “Operators must use the data they hold to protect their customers and now, more than ever, it’s vital that online operators really know their customers by monitoring how long they are playing for and understanding how financial uncertainty is impacting them and what they can afford to gamble with.”
Operators are expected to implement the new rules as soon as possible.